Traditional banks benefiting the most from Current Account Switch Service
Research from payments body Bacs has shown that traditional banks are benefitting the most from the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), a scheme that was launched in 2013 to simplify the process of switching banks.
The CASS data showed that 965,317 people in Britain switched their current account in 2017, a year-on-year rise of 6%.
The data found that traditional banks saw the biggest increase in new accounts, with Halifax leading the way. The bank, which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, gained 33,942 accounts in the first three months of 2018.
Nationwide also saw a significant increase in new account holders, with the building society gaining 28,763 accounts over the same period.
Starling Bank was the only challenger bank featured on the list, securing 1,153 current account holders in the first three months of the year. However, the bank’s lower ranking on the list could be a result of it launching its switching service in February of this year, with the figures from Bacs most likely only covering data from March.
The data showed that CASS has succeeded in making account switching easier for Brits, with more than 4.9 million successful switches taking place since the launch of the service.
The service, which is available for free, enables Brits to switch their account within seven working days, compared to the waiting period of between 18 and 30 working days for the previous service.
CASS was originally only available to SMEs with a turnover of £2 million, but it was extended to SMEs with a turnover of up to £6.5 million in 2015. The extension of the service now enables it to reach 99% of the SME market in the UK.